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Community Punishments for Cornwall

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12:11pm 10th November 2014


Some criminals in Cornwall will be forced to write sorry letters to victims - or repair damage.

It'll be for things like antisocial behaviour and vandalism.

The Duchy's Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg dismissed claims punishments are going soft: "The success rate of applying sanctions in this way is better for those who have been harmed by the crime and actually has a restorative effect on the perpetrators as well.

"It puts victims in the driving seat of deciding how the community deals with people who've committed low level acts of violence or anti-social behaviour. This really gives victims a feeling of involvement in how they're dealt with."

It is after a consultation which over a thousand people across Devon and Cornwall took part in to see how low-level criminals may be punished in the future.

The three most popular responses were that offenders carry out work in the community (18.82 per cent); work to repair damage caused (18.88 per cent), or is subject of more targeted intervention (11.74 per cent).

Now Mr Hogg and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer will sign an agreement to formalise the community remedy.
 
From today, where appropriate, victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour will have the choice of the following remedies:

The offender makes a written or verbal apology to the victim;

The offender makes financial reparation to the victim;

The offender makes non-monetary reparation to the victim such as repairing damage or completing a task that benefits the victim or local community directly;

The offender signs an agreement such as an Acceptable Behaviour Contract which can include prohibition from taking part in certain activities or staying away from certain places;

The offender takes part in structured diversionary activity;

The offender accepts targeted intervention such as a referral to supportive services;

Any other bespoke activity agreed by both the victim and the offender.

 
"The community remedy document has been produced after speaking to over 1,000 people across Devon and Cornwall" Mr Hogg added. "It is a victim-based solution which gives communities a stronger voice.

 "It is a clear demonstration of my commitment to be the public's policing representative and that, on matters which really matter to them communities want to play a part in deciding how they are policed.
 
"During the consultation people have been supportive of the plan for the community remedy. Over 700 of those asked said they would be happy with a community remedy if they were a victim of low level crime or anti-social behaviour.

"My office will continue to listen to the public to ensure it has a say in policing and to work with the chief constable to ensure the service delivered matches these wishes."

12:11pm 10th November 2014

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